Another in a series intended to showcase our advocates and team members and their story in the arena of maternal mental health care.
LOS ANGELES, CA - I am a pediatric occupational therapist and a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, a wife and a child and family advocate. As a pediatric occupational therapist, I am an advocate for children and families. Their vulnerability subjects them to circumstances outside of their choosing or control, and their experiences can have a lasting impact on their lives as well as on the generations after them.
When children are given opportunities to thrive, we all thrive, and this is what drives my advocacy including 1. Helping children in underserved communities in the Philippines and Filipino immigrant communities of Los Angeles, 2. Assisting mothers via the work of 2020 Mom so their children can thrive. 3. Working as an occupational therapist at a children’s hospital in Southern California.
Q: What compelled you to join the board of 2020 Mom?
A: A few years ago I had an aha moment. Often times, I come across mothers in the clinic who are depressed and feeling anxious and do not get the help that they need. If the babies that we see in the clinic come with their mothers, why aren't pediatric occupational therapists addressing maternal mental health?
One may ask, what does occupational therapy have to do with it? Occupational therapy enables people to engage in “occupations” that are meaningful to them. The occupation of babies is being cared for by mothers to thrive. Consequently, mothering is an occupation.
Through a friend, I meet Joy, the founder and the ED of 2020 Mom. I shared my struggles with her, particularly concerning obstacles around supporting mothers in pediatric occupational therapy practice. Not only that she helped me recognize the gaps, but she also helped me understand the barriers. When I found out that 2020 Mom’s mission is to propel change in systems around MMH, I made a commitment to join the movement and be part of the change, first as a volunteer and now on the board for 4 years. Currently, my goal is to integrate maternal mental health into pediatric occupational therapy practice.
Q: What do you love about 2020 Mom?
A: 2020 Mom’s mission, to close gaps in maternal mental health care through policy, practice, and systems change, is one bold goal. A small non-profit tackling this significant problem seems audacious. But the audacity is what I love about it. Armed with the in-depth understanding of the systems around maternal mental health care has been 2020 Mom’s greatest asset. Being with 2020 Mom since the earlier years of its inception has taught me that it takes only a few passionate women (and men) to make a change. For a young non-profit (7 years old), 2020 Mom has accomplished a lot. Borrowing from Margaret Mead, Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. I genuinely think that 2020 Mom embodies this quote.
Do you have a "My Why" story, about why you are going deep with 2020 Mom, that you'd like to share on our blog? If so click here.